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In the world of pickup trucks, it can be easy to get caught up in the full-size models. Think the Ford F-150 or Ram 1500. Although those vehicles might be flashy, they can also be fairly expensive and inefficient. And that is where midsize trucks come in. These smaller pickups still offer legitimate utility but can be more affordable. And two recognizable nameplates are the Nissan Frontier and Ford Ranger. 

Is the 2023 Nissan Frontier better than the 2023 Ford Ranger?

When it comes to pickup trucks, opinions fly high, but on paper, the Nissan Frontier does appear to be the better vehicle. It is newer than the Ranger, offers a naturally aspirated V6 engine, and can haul more in terms of payload. 

Nissan introduced the redesigned Frontier for the 2022 model year. And it is this midsize truck’s first major update in years. Because of that, it can feel slightly more modern. At the same time, if you plan on towing often, the Ford Ranger can handle more. It can tow up to 7,500 pounds, whereas the Frontier can only tow 6,510 lbs. 

The Frontier has a standard V6 engine

OK, I’m coming at this from the school of thought that a midsize truck calls for a six-cylinder engine. I understand that four cylinders and forced induction lead to better fuel economy in the modern era. 

A 2023 Nissan Frontier sits in an open field as a midsize truck.
Nissan Frontier | Nissan

Under the hood of each 2023 Nissan Frontier lies a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. Because of the lack of a turbocharger, it’s easy to imagine this engine outlasting what the Blue Oval is utilizing. No turbo means one less thing to fail. 

The 2023 Ford Ranger features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with a power output of 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It seems like nearly every Ford product features a four-cylinder turbo at this point. And that extra torque will come in handy for towing. 

The Nissan Frontier is newer than the Ford Ranger

Oddly enough, we got an old version when Ford reintroduced the Ranger to the United States for the 2019 model year. At least, when compared to the global market. That has led this midsize truck to feel a bit dated when compared to some of its rivals—especially something like the Nissan Frontier, which is fresh off a redesign. 

The 2023 Ford Ranger has a couple of downsides when compared to the Frontier.
2023 Ford Ranger | Ford

The Frontier welcomed its third generation for the 2022 model year. According to Car and Driver, the improvements over the second-gen are fairly significant. And that is likely what’s led to renewed interest in Nissan’s midsize truck. 

Both pickups offer modern safety tech, but I have to say the seats of the new Frontier are extremely comfortable. Nissan calls them “zero gravity” seats, and they are certainly better to sit in than the seats found in the old Frontier. 

The 2023 Nissan Frontier can be more comfortable than the 2023 Ford Ranger with its zero gravity seats.
2023 Nissan Frontier interior | Nissan

Other than that, both of these trucks feel like trucks. They have large gear shifters, and base models are filled with hard plastics.

Related The 2023 Nissan Frontier Just Outranked the Ford Ranger

The 2023 Nissan Frontier Just Outranked the Ford Ranger